Lt. Col. Enriqueto Deocadez, newly-installed commander of the 47th Infantry Battalion, expressed his full support to the 5-year Peace and Development Program of the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
This will be done through active advocacy and mobilization of multi-sectoral Peace and Development Teams in southern Negros, Deocadez said.
“Our cooperation and mutual understanding to uplift the people’s well being will become a foundation for selfless and dedicated service,” Deocadez assumed the 47IB command Wednesday in Brgy. Tiling, Cauayan, with all mayors of southern Negros, and Rep. Mercedes Alvarez present.
The five-year peace and development program of the provincial government aims to include more than 100 conflict-affected barangays, including those in southern Negros.
Deocadez., who had spent more than a decade of his military career in Visayas, reminded 47IB personnel to always adhere to human rights and the rule of law, and observe the rules of engagement.
Major General Jose Mabanta, 3rd Infantry Division commander, ordered Deocadez to sustain the implementation of the Army’s Transformation Road Map and relentlessly pursue efforts to “win the peace” in southern Negros.
Within a year or two, Mabanta said they may declare southern Negros as “insurgency-free”, citing the absence of major NPA activities and the number of rebels who had surrendered to them in the past two years.
Lt. Col. Rodrigo Sosmena, outgoing 47IB commander, acknowledged the all-out support extended to them by Alvarez and her brother, Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez, and local chief executives of Kabankalan and Sipalay, Candoni, Cauayan and Hinobaan.
Sosmena distributed plaques of appreciations to all the southern Negros local chief executives.
In anticipation of the May 13 elections, Deocadez said they will formulate strategies to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in the area.
Before his designation as 47IB commander, Deocadez served as the executive officer of the Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade in Dingle, Iloilo, and headed the Task Group Boracay. Sosmena is projected to head the Division Training Unit of 3ID at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.*GPB